Tony McEvoy is excited about getting Alpine Eagle out to 2000 metres in what will be a crucial spring carnival race for the promising horse.
McEvoy plans to start Alpine Eagle in Sunday’s Turnbull Stakes Flemington which is run under set weights and penalties conditions.
The four-year-old will also be entered for Friday night’s Group Three JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley in case he doesn’t gain a Turnbull start.
“The Turnbull is the race I want to run him in but there’s a chance he mightn’t get in,” McEvoy said.
“I’ll have him in the JRA Cup on Friday night just to look at that, but if we can get a start in the Turnbull, that’s his race.”
McEvoy has said he’s keen to target the $3 million Cox Plate with Alpine Eagle, but he is also aware if the horse doesn’t win the Turnbull he might not get in as a non-Group One winner.
Alpine Eagle, by High Chaparral out of a Zabeel mare, emerged as a potential topliner earlier this year with his win in the Group Two Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield.
He backed up a week later to finish second to Wandjina in the Group One Australian Guineas.
After resuming with a second placing in the Penny Edition Stakes in Adelaide, Alpine Eagle earned a big pass mark from his trainer with his close-up sixth in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
He is yet to run beyond 1800m.
“Out to 2000 metres – this is his time,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy was delighted with the way Alpine Eagle galloped at Moonee Valley last Tuesday morning when he settled behind Big Memory and Rising Romance before hitting the line strongly to shade the two on the line.
The Turnbull meeting is part of a big weekend of Group One racing.
The Moir Stakes heads Friday night’s program at Moonee Valley and on Saturday Group One racing will be in Sydney for Epsom Handicap day.